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Pure souls and funny knights


In exemplary individual analyzes, the author shows that the versepic texts of Christoph Martin Wieland from different phases of his work are to be understood as contributions to literary enlightenment. In the literary medium, this is about a self-critical reflection on the claim to enlightenment rationality and the position of the subject in a world that is modernizing. While the sensitively influenced early work of Wieland is characterized by an aesthetic functionalization of religious images, the versepic of the period after 1760 offers a comic-critical reflection on Enlightenment subjectivity. In »Oberon« (1780), Wieland tries in a classicist spirit to symbolically abolish the comic-critical reflection, but falls behind the critical level of the previous phase. Due to the importance of intertextuality, parody and comedy, there are parallels between Wieland's texts and the literature of a "respectable postmodern".


Enlightenment comedy literature postmodern knights

About the authors

The author: Michael Hofmann, born in 1957; studied German, philosophy and Romance studies in Bonn and Poitiers. 1988-1992 lecturer in Nancy / France, 1992-1997 research assistant at the University of Bonn. Currently teaches German literature and language at the University of Liège / Belgium. 1990 PhD with a thesis on Peter Weiss' »Aesthetics of Resistance«. 1997 Habilitation at the University of Bonn with the present work.

Bibliographic information

  • Book TitlePure souls and comical knights
  • Book Subtitle Aspects of literary enlightenment in Christoph Martin Wieland's Versepik
  • Authors Michael Hofmann
  • DOIhttps: //
  • Copyright InformationSpringer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg1998
  • Publisher NameJ.B. Metzler, Stuttgart
  • eBook PackagesJ.B. Metzler Humanities (German Language)
  • Softcover ISBN978-3-476-45195-8
  • eBook ISBN978-3-476-04290-3
  • Edition Number1
  • Number of PagesX, 362
  • Number of Illustrations0 b / w illustrations, 0 illustrations in color
  • TopicsEighteenth-Century Literature
    Poetry and Poetics
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